An Inside Look at IICLE Authorship
As a not-for-profit volunteer organization, the Institute presents a multitude of opportunities for attorneys at every career stage and practice concentration to become involved by sharing their knowledge with other Illinois lawyers and furthering their own professional development along the way. Prospects include speaking, writing, and Board governance. This month, our focus is on volunteer authorship with IICLE.
For What Types of Writing Projects Does IICLE Solicit Volunteer Authors?
The Institute’s primary publications include traditional practice handbooks and our monthly FLASHPOINTS e-newsletter. We also publish a myriad of editable legal forms, many of which are presently being upgraded with document assembly functionality for efficiency and to assist with accuracy. All IICLE publications are written by Illinois lawyers for Illinois lawyers.
Currently, our library of practice handbooks includes over 130 titles spanning approximately 15 practice areas. IICLE publications are distinctive in that they are not academic treatises; rather, they consist of practical “how-to” treatments of topics from the basic to the complex. The Institute’s monthly e-newsletter, FLASHPOINTS, provides a bridge between editions of existing titles, featuring recent developments in the law in several practice areas. Readers can click here to subscribe to this free resource via e-mail and view the most current edition at www.iicle.com/flashpoints.
How Does IICLE Select Authors?
There are several pathways by which we connect with our attorney authors. The most traditional is by referral from an author with whom we have worked in the past. We typically invite authors of past editions to participate in updating a title for which they previously contributed material. Often, more senior attorneys will invite a colleague to join them with the ultimate intent of passing along a manuscript they originally created once they retire. Volunteers also self-nominate; interest in writing with the Institute can be communicated on our website. We look for experience in the subject matter at hand, as well as prowess in their practice area when considering volunteers.
How Does the Institute Support Its Volunteer Authors?
All manuscripts are professionally edited by our full-time staff, observing a careful process to vet fully each manuscript for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, as well as for readability and citation accuracy. Every title is published in our searchable Online Library with subscription access, as well as in print and e-book versions for individual purchase. We do all the formatting and fine-tuning legwork so that our authors can focus on the content. We provide an author’s style guide, and we publicize the author’s name on our website and in select marketing materials.
What Are the Benefits of Volunteering as an Author with the Institute?
Many of our authors report that the process of putting an explanation of a concept or procedure in writing helps distill their thinking about the topic in such a way that the experience further deepens their understanding of their chosen practice area. Authors can claim MCLE credit for authorship, and, of course, experience as an IICLE volunteer is a boon to their professional resumes.